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Dress Code During Funerals

admin / February 21, 2022

A dress is an appropriate attire for a funeral if it is in good taste. Other options besides dresses are skirts and blouses, dark slacks or capris, and dress shoes with a darker hose. This is not the time to show off new fashions – stick with conservative pieces that have been in your wardrobe for a while. You should also refrain from wearing bright colours or revealing necklines.

group of people attending burial

You can find here some ideas on what to wear for a funeral.

Black

Wearing black is always acceptable at funerals today because it’s recognized as the colour of mourning. Other dark colours are still fine, however, they may be considered inappropriate during certain seasons where black would look out of place due to its stark contrast against nature. A woman should wear a dark dress, skirt, blouse and shoes. Head-covering is not necessary at funerals today unless it is your religious custom.

If you are attending the wake service before the funeral or taking part in the procession to the gravesite you should dress appropriately for the weather (and season) as well as reflect your respect for the deceased and his/her family. This means that if there’s snow on the ground or rain coming down in sheets, don’t expect to find shelter under an umbrella; bring boots or galoshes instead.

If you’re attending a spring burial where flowers will be strewn across the grave, wear something appropriate like a sundress teamed with strappy sandals – just make sure to pack a pair of closed-toe shoes and a sweater for warmth.

White

In Canada wearing white to funerals is not as common as it’s been in the past. In some cultures where wearing all black isn’t regarded as fitting, they turn to white as a way of symbolising hope or purity instead of using worn-out colours.

The one instance where this would not hold is during a traditional Irish wake service but even then you’re likely going to see women wearing dark dress clothing with a hint of colour like reds, blues and purples along with lace or lace overlay handkerchiefs that have been handed down through their family for generations – especially if tea lights are being lit by the casket.

If you’ve attended an Irish funeral before you’ll see people placing one lit white candle on the altar or at each end of the casket in honour of someone who has passed away.

The following guide is useful when attending funeral services within different religions:

Jewish Funerals

Jewish funerals are usually held within 24 hours after death. The body isn’t present during the service (it’s typically cremated beforehand) so dress conservatively with dark colours being acceptable. Men must wear head-coverings, which can be provided by the synagogue if you don’t have one to bring along.

Hindu Funerals

Hindu funerals are very colourful affairs with lots of pageantries and hand-clapping chanting because Hindus associate sound with awakening their senses to life again. Men do not cover their heads unless they are coming from a temple. Women should wear saris in light colours that aren’t see-through.

If you’re attending a cremation then the dress is casual but avoid anything too revealing or flashy to show respect for the deceased and their family.

Sikhism Funerals

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion with its roots coming from both Islam and Hinduism so it holds some similarities when dealing with funerals. The body isn’t present during the service because it’s typically cremated beforehand so dress conservatively with dark colours being acceptable for men and women alike.

Headcoverings are not required but if you have one bring it along just in case (usually turbans and/or scarves work well). For a cremation, any form of black or grey clothing would be most appropriate.

 

Catholic Funerals

It’s not mandatory to wear head-coverings or scarves at Catholic funerals but a black dress is a must as well as a dark coloured coat and shoes. Remember that the body is present so your clothing should be modest – no cleavage on display or short skirts unless you have on opaque hose or tights.

If you’ve been given the option of sitting at the front of the church then this would be an excellent time to bring out your best clothes as long as they’re appropriate for mourning. In some European countries, veils are still worn by widows/widowers, however, they are usually thin enough that they can see through them.

Protestant Funerals

Protestant funerals may follow either a formal or informal service with little to no dress code. For the former it’s best to wear dark colours with head coverings if you so desire while for an informal service anything goes as long as it doesn’t offend anyone – keep in mind older family members might not appreciate jeans, t-shirts and sneakers.

Women should wear skirts that fall below the knee along with heels or closed-toe shoes; men should wear pants (jeans are fine) and dress shirts (ties aren’t mandatory).

Eastern Orthodox Funerals

Eastern Orthodox funerals begin either at a church or funeral home depending on where the deceased was living before their passing. Men cover their heads either by wearing hats, yarmulkes or folding their hands over themselves; women should bring veils if they plan on covering their head and anything that’s not transparent is acceptable.

Islamic Funeral

Within an Islamic funeral service, the body isn’t present so the dress is very casual – jeans and t-shirts work well. However, if you’re sitting in the front of a mosque then wear something conservative (no shorts) and cover your head with a scarf or hat to show respect for both family and faith; men should be covered from ankle to wrist while women must cover everything but their face and hands.

More readings on what to wear to a funeral not black, just click the underlined words. 

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